We’ve made it to the dog days of summer. The weather’s a little too hot, but it’s exactly what we’ve been wanting all year. Take a break and relax with us as we wind down and watch the midsummer sunset with the best new tracks from artists you need to know.

Check out highlights of a few of our favorite tracks below and subscribe to the playlist so you never miss out.

 


 

Bktherula

Bktherula – Summer

There’s one guaranteed way to regain that treasured summer spark: a listen to Bktherula’s Summer.” A dream-like synth beat uplifts Bk’s beautiful voice, overwhelming the listener with feelings of eclipsing invincibility. You can almost feel the afternoon breeze and fading orange sky as the song swirls around its bouncing 808s and fulfilling hi-hats. Hailing from Atlanta, Bktherula’s wide range of production skills and free use of vocals allow her to make one-of-a-kind art shaped by her own visions. Though some projects can be a grab-bag of genres and themes, she is an inspiring, self-determined talent that creates what she feels. In the thick of midsummer, Bktherula feels elevated and unstoppable, an energy that pervades through her single, “Summer.”

 

 


 

Rejjie Snow

Rejjie Snow – Cookie Chips (Ft. MF DOOM & Cam O’bi)

Imagine you’re sitting in a strawberry field watching as the clouds roll by on a summer afternoon. That is the feeling that “Cookie Chips” inspires. A swirling flute melody, vibrant keyboard and soft drum beat creates the care-free feeling of being a teenager counting down the days of freedom. Rejjie Snow, the unique Irish rapper with a psychedelic sound, crafted this single with the help of producer Cam O’bi, a Chicago native who has helped artists like Chance the Rapper and SZA create their own signature styles. Snow brings a nostalgic and nomadic narrative while O’bi focuses on an uplifting chorus and sunny beat. The legendary MF DOOM raps a verse, providing his wise wordplay over the rhythm. Recall the sweetness of zero responsibility and let a spectacular trio lead the way on “Cookie Chips.”

 

 


 

Blu, Exile

Blu & Exile – The Feeling

A handful of old school hip-hop, a cup of inspiring lyricism and a pinch of powerful poetry. The recipe for Blu & Exile’s “The Feeling” is as simple and optimistic as the piano riffs that push the song forward. The Los Angeles rapper-producer duo first met through Aloe Blacc and have since fostered an impressive following and international connections. “The Feeling” is a single of their new and long-awaited album Miles that was released this month. If you enjoy the classic keys, bright bars and positive vibes of Blu and Exile’s style, be sure to check out their work.

 

 


 

Apollo Brown, Che Noir

Apollo Brown & Che Noir – Freedom

Summer is supposed to be all about freedom. Juneteenth marks the freeing of slaves in the United States, the Fourth of July marks freedom from the British and summer for students means freedom from school. So what better time for Apollo Brown and Che Noir to share their mixed feelings on the subject? “Freedom” is a track off of the duo’s collaboration project As God Intended released this month. The song requires deeper thought, defined by a combination of Brown’s eloquent lo-fi production, Noir’s woke and unwavering flow and a steady, poetic voice that speaks, “freedom is not free.” The song embodies the tiring, hazy and hot nature of justice yet encourages the listener not to waver when called to action. Listen, reflect, and remember what it’s all about with “Freedom.”

 

 


 

Tobi Lou

Tobi Lou – Lingo Starr: Return of the Dragon

Tobi Lou’s energy is simply contagious. His three-song EP Lingo Starr captures the fleeting yet cherishable warmth of summer 2020. It will make you want to dance on the beach ‘til the sunset fades into the water. “Return of the Dragon” has hype with its up-tempo braggadocio, followed by the more mellow vibes of “Strikes Back” and “Drunken Master.” The songs fit together to form a short and sweet project that is perfect for a humid highway drive. The Chicago rapper, who was once destined for professional baseball, now flexes his imagination and creativity on his singles, in his artwork and across the internet. Listen and vibe with Tobi Lou on his new project below. 

 

 


 

Osquello

Osquello – Paradigm City

A true experimentalist, Osquello blurs the line between jazz, hip-hop and alternative electronic music. On “Paradigm City,” the three genres both combine and clash with each other, connected solely by Osquello’s versatile vocals. The London-based 20-year-old just released Osqstock, an album filled with crescendoing chords and luscious lo-fi melodies. He is definitely a name to watch in the future, but getting lost in his kaleidoscope of creativity is a welcome summer surprise for now. Challenge your music taste and delight your ear with “Paradigm City.”

 


 

McClenney & Baby Rose – Karma Plays

Summer isn’t always fun, unfortunately. This song won’t make you cry, but it may evoke a shake of the head at what could’ve been. Introduced by a soothing keyboard and a smooth beckoning voice, “Karma Plays” is a slow, funky R&B song that will make you remember each and every failed summer fling. McClenney, the multitalented Maryland instrumentalist, plucks at a funky bass, strums a wavy guitar and dances on a piano throughout the song, displaying his versatile ability in the studio. Baby Rose’s soulful voice then helps shape the conflict of loss, love and leaving the past behind. Though you both might be better off now, let “Karma Plays” bring back those memories of separate destinies. 

 

 


 

Ben Beal, Kill Bill: The RapperBen Beal, Kill Bill: The Rapper

Ben Beal & Kill Bill: The Rapper – Bluebird

Longing for a day on the beach? “Bluebird” will take you there. Its lighthearted acoustics will bring dreams of somewhere like Ipanema while Ben Beal and Kill Bill: The Rapper rhyme about the bittersweetness of summer love. Beal, a University of Maryland lyricist, thrives in his lo-fi la-la-land, letting his voice drift over the dreamy beat. Meanwhile, the more gruff Kill Bill brings his own southern honesty from his home in Charleston, South Carolina. The duo creates a true summer classic, sampling and strumming their way to that warm place in your mind. I promise “Bluebird” will help you get there, just press play. 

 

 


 

Joyner Lucas

Elijah James & Joyner Lucas – Slow Down

Sometimes summer seems to move way too fast. Boredom and heat melt the days together, and coronavirus certainly doesn’t help keep track of the days. Here to offer some advice, Elijah James and Joyner Lucas encourage us with their new song “Slow Down.” The rolling bass beat pairs perfectly with James’ entrancing voice, and Lucas provides a simple yet strong verse to balance the song. The two hail from opposite sides of the country, but they both struggle with getting swept up in the excitement of warm sun and swirling passion.  Whether you’re driving with no destination, or sharing an evening with good friends, “Slow Down” reminds you to appreciate the present.

 


 

Check out our full Emerging Playlist below, updated daily with what’s next.